Early Retirement Resources 10/9/2023

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Todays resources explore a wide variety of topics. We start with a look at how various investments have performed historically during periods of recession and why you should be careful how you utilize that information. We’ll also consider an alternative way to measure investment returns.

Online retirement resources

Resources will help you improve your mental approach to investing and life. We’ll get into the weeds on TIPS and Social Security.

I close out with challenging topics that many of us may not want to think about, which is exactly why we should. 

Let’s dive in…

Investment Strategy

Amy Arnott shares what have historically been the Best Investments to Own During a Recession. My hope in sharing this is that you consider how different asset classes have historically performed during different economic conditions to help you build a portfolio you can stick with and that will meet your financial needs in all reasonable future scenarios.

What I hope you don’t do is switch strategies trying to predict the future or chase performance. This takes me to our next article. 

Almost three years ago exactly, at the height of the ESG craze, I wrote the following:

Are ESG funds’ recent outsized returns an indicator that consumers are looking for businesses that aim to do more good? Or are the returns a result of ESG funds investing in companies that happen to be in favor (technology) and avoiding companies that are currently out of favor (energy)? I suspect it is more of the latter. 

As conditions have changed, and performance has lagged for ESG strategies, it appears I was correct. Silla Brush writes BlackRock, State Street Among Money Managers Closing ESG Funds.

A Different Way of Measuring Return

Last month, I published a guest post on whether real estate investments could replace bonds in your investment portfolio. While I ultimately think that they could, the answer comes with the major caveat that investing in bonds and real estate are entirely different processes.

Beyond assessing the different investment risks and rewards, with real estate and other more active investment strategies you also need to consider what Nick Maggiulli calls The Return on Hassle Spectrum.

Upping Your Mental Game

Being a successful investor, and more generally being successful in life, requires optimal mental function.

Morgan Housel provides a concise but powerful reminder of The Lifecycle of Greed and Fear

Andrew Huberman and Paul Conti created an incredible four-part deep dive into mental health. This is anything but brief, but for those willing to invest some time in learning more about this topic they’ve provided an incredible free resource.

Technically Speaking

The next couple of articles get into the weeds to help you understand investment and financial planning decisions.

John Rekenthaler writes in two parts It’s Time to Consider TIPS and Why TIPS Look Attractive.

Karsten Jeske continues his Safe Withdrawal Rate Series at Early Retirement Now, writing Social Security Timing.

Hard Topics

Craig Stephens shares the challenges encountered when helping his parents move out of the home they’d lived in for 50 years, writing A Half-Century Later.

My daughter’s 5th grade teacher recently challenged her students to read a text that would challenge them. They decided on the novel The Book Thief by Markus Zusak about life during WWII.

Kim and I wanted to read the book so we could discuss it as a family. Neither of us could put it down. It was a thought provoking look at the complexity of humans and the horrific nature of war. 

I would recommend this book under any circumstances. With the horrific acts of this past weekend, I fear the book is more prescient than I could have imagined when reading it just a week ago.

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[Chris Mamula used principles of traditional retirement planning, combined with creative lifestyle design, to retire from a career as a physical therapist at age 41. After poor experiences with the financial industry early in his professional life, he educated himself on investing and tax planning. After achieving financial independence, Chris began writing about wealth building, DIY investing, financial planning, early retirement, and lifestyle design at Can I Retire Yet? He is also the primary author of the book Choose FI: Your Blueprint to Financial Independence. Chris also does financial planning with individuals and couples at Abundo Wealth, a low-cost, advice-only financial planning firm with the mission of making quality financial advice available to populations for whom it was previously inaccessible. Chris has been featured on MarketWatch, Morningstar, U.S. News & World Report, and Business Insider. He has spoken at events including the Bogleheads and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants annual conferences. Blog inquiries can be sent to chris@caniretireyet.com. Financial planning inquiries can be sent to chris@abundowealth.com]

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  1. Regarding your last note about the book you suggest reading “With the horrific acts of this past weekend, I fear the book is more prescient than I could have imagined when reading it just a week ago.” It’s funny how people in America have very short memories, but it’s not really faulty except that they are spoilt by the continent’s geographical advantage. You were referring to the attack on Israel, but have you forgotten the fact that the war in Ukraine hasn’t ended? I appreciate every single day how lucky we are, but at the same time I remember all the unfortunate people in East Europe or Middle East.

    1. Sorry, I posted without rereading: I meant to say it’s not their fault for having such short memories and they can thank the geographical advantage.

      1. S&M,

        Fair point that those of us born and raised in the US are fortunate to not experience these horrific realities on a regular basis and so our perspectives are therefore different than much of the rest of the world.

        To clarify my inclusion of the book, I was going to recommend it because simply because it was masterfully written. The writing provides a stark contrast to the black and white, good vs. bad, almost cult-like thinking that I see pervading almost all aspects of our society today. This lack of nuance is true even in the world of personal finance, and I find it beyond troubling.

        I rewrote that section about the book at the last moment in light of this weekend’s events which began with the mass slaughter of Jewish people and the now seemingly inevitable suffering of innocent children during the retaliation, many of whom’s major crime in life was being born in the wrong place and at the wrong time. As I watched these events unfold, I couldn’t help but reflect on how those were two dominant themes masterfully expressed in that specific book and it is beyond sad to see it continue to play out nearly a century later.


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